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Amazon Expands its Hardware Lab Ready for Smart Home Explosion

Tim Maytom

FirePhone_Hand_Firefly-IconAmazon is planning on increasing staffing at its Silicon Valley-based hardware lab by at least 27 per cent over the next five years, in preparation for the huge surge in 'smart home' gadgets.

The plans, revealed by Reuters, detail Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' plans to increase focus on the company's hardware unit, despite the poor reception its Fire Phone saw earlier this year.

The Lab126 division, which developed the Fire Phone and Kindle, will increase its full-time payroll to at least 3,757 people by 2019, and will invest $55m (£33.6m) in its operations in Sunnyvale and Cupertino.

Amazon's expansion into the connected home market will see it competing with hardware giants like Apple and Samsung, as well as the Google-owned Nest.